Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam on Monday moved the Delhi High Court, against a trial court order granting more time to the police to conclude its investigation into a case of alleged inflammatory speeches made during the protests at Jamia Millia Islamia University against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December, PTI reported. The petition is likely to be heard on May 14.
Imam has been charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the protests. The amended UAPA allows the government to proscribe individuals as terrorists and empowers more officers of the National Investigation Agency to probe cases. A person charged under the Act can be jailed for up to seven years.
The trial court had issued the order on April 25, granting the Delhi Police time over and above 90 days to conduct their probe. Imam was arrested on January 28. The statutory period to complete the investigation came to an end on April 27.
The former JNU student has also approached the High Court seeking default bail in the matter, on the grounds that the investigation was not concluded within the statutory period of 90 days. The trial court had earlier rejected his bail plea.
The police had earlier charged Imam with sedition, accusing him of promoting enmity between groups and instigating riots. Imam is under fire for remarks he allegedly made at Aligarh Muslim University on January 16. In a clip on social media, Imam was purportedly heard telling protestors to “cut off Assam from India” by occupying the “Muslim-dominated Chicken’s Neck”. The comment was widely perceived as secessionist, but Imam later claimed that he had called for peaceful protests to “block roads going to Assam” – “basically a call for chakka jam”.